Memorial Day — reflect, ask questions
Memorial Day’s exuberant parades and solemn ceremonies come this year at a troubling time. Some of America’s leaders are again saber rattling, talking up a possible war with Iran, pushing a rival nation in ways that could easily lead to the too-familiar series of miscalculations and counter miscalculations — sanctions, economic pressure, threats and counter-threats, deployments and counter deployments.
One mistake by someone somewhere along the chain of command — in either of the two nations — and suddenly the gates of Hell are opened wide. Missiles are flying. People are dying. Mothers are crying.
Let Memorial Day 2019 give all Americans occasion to think on the high and brutal cost of war, and gravity of any decision to go to war.
Memorial Day honors the sacrifices of fallen Americans who bravely answered the call of duty when their nation was fighting battles. Some fought in great wars that pulled the nation together. Some in controversial wars that tore the nation apart. Some gave their lives in less-remembered police actions, and shows of military resolve. The service of all is worthy of recognition, and honor.
On Memorial Day graves are decorated — family and friends plant flowers and remember cherished faces lost to war’s cruel madness, veterans set out small flags to honor the last resting places of patriots with no one else left to remember them.
The flowers and the flags are tributes from the living
to the dead — to young men and women who are no longer living, laughing, smiling, singing, falling in love, watching as children and grandchildren grow and thrive. They gave all that up. Gave up all there is to treasure in life, gave it up for their nation. For us.
Each honored grave is a life cut short, spent in war.
What is there to do but think of them, and thank them?
What is there to do but remember?
Well, need we only remember?
This Memorial Day let us — we, the living, the voting, the email-sending — remember, and let us also ask questions.
Why is the United States of America again playing at regime change in the Middle East? How would our leaders get us out of a war, once they’ve gotten us in? And how is it these alleged leaders can so casually dice with other people’s lives? Are these life-and-death decisions based on deep reflection and sound judgment?
This Memorial Day, let all Americans honor the flag, remember the courage of the brave and pay thoughtful tribute to the sacrifices of the dead.
And after long thought, good citizens, let us also raise voices — raise in raucous chorus the forgotten voices of the lost millions, the countless dead gunned down in the sweetness of youth — and try to stop these arrogant fools before they get more people killed, and send more patriotic Americans to early graves.